how to become a legal weed grower

How to become a legal weed grower

To become a grower in the legal cannabis industry – either as a business license holder or as a career – you need to have a combination of knowledge, skills, and experience. You also need to be highly focused on compliance and adaptable to change because the legal marijuana industry is constantly evolving.

The good news is the industry is growing quickly across the United States, and there are many opportunities to join as a grower employee or entrepreneur.

How to Start a Business as a Grower

There are five key steps to starting a business as a grower in the legal cannabis industry: planning, licensing, production and supply chain, business operations, and opening your cultivation site for business. Let’s take a closer look at each step.

1. Planning

Passion for the industry and experience growing at home are not enough to start a successful marijuana grow operation. You need a team of experienced experts, local support from your community, strong financial models, and more.

Importantly, you need a solid business plan to help secure investors, win a cultivation license from your state, and obtain the necessary permits and permissions from the local municipality where your business will operate.

2. License Application

It’s essential that you get help from cannabis business consultants and attorneys to complete your cultivation license application so your responses provide all of the information that is required as well as information that makes your application stand out from the rest.

It’s an extremely competitive process, and you only get one chance to get it right. Invest wisely.

3. Production and Supply Chain

How will your cultivation facility operate at each stage of production and across the supply chain? What systems will you use? What technology and equipment do you need?

You need to create process requirements for breeding, cloning, trimming, drying, curing, packaging, distribution, and much more.

4. Business Operations

How will your business operate on a daily basis? What budget is needed and what procedures do employees need to follow?

In order to run your cultivation site, you need to prepare in advance by setting up lighting and other environmental equipment, installing security, purchasing equipment and supplies, selecting a payment processor, setting up compliance processes, and more.

5. Opening

Once your business is licensed and set up, it’s time to prepare for opening. You’ll need to stock your inventory, building your vendor and supplier relationships, hire and train employees, and start promoting your business.


How to Get a Job as a Grower

If you want to become a grower in the legal cannabis industry but don’t want to own a grow facility, there are many types of grower jobs to choose from. Salaries typically range from $12 per hour for entry-level trimmers to $150,000 or more for master growers who have cannabis experience and PhDs.

A master grower typically holds a master’s degree or PhD in horticulture, botany, or a physical science and is responsible for genetics, designing grow systems, maximizing harvests, managing the grow facility, and managing and training the grow team of workers. This is not a job for home growers. Master growers are responsible for large commercial grow sites and must be able to scale those grow sites even more if the opportunity arises.

Assistant growers typically have a bachelor’s degree in horticulture, botany, or a physical science. They must have knowledge of strains, lighting, irrigation, fertilizer, growing technologies, and more. Assistant growers typically earn $30,000 or more.

Trimmers are usually hourly employees who are responsible for cutting marijuana plants by hand during harvests. A college degree is usually not required, which makes it a great way for people who are interested in cannabis growing to break into the industry.


Key Takeaways to Become a Grower in the Legal Cannabis Industry

The legal cannabis industry is young, and there are many opportunities for motivated workers and entrepreneurs to become growers. Be sure to register for Leafy Green Agency’s Cannabis Cultivation Certification Seminar, so you have the knowledge to win a license or land a job as a grower.

The marijuana industry is growing quickly across the U.S., and there are many opportunities to become a grower in the legal cannabis industry.

How to Get a Grower’s License for Medical Cannabis

Currently, 33 states and the District of Columbia approve medical marijuana , but the plant remains illegal on a federal level. If you happen to possess a bit of a green thumb and have also been approved for a medical marijuana certification, then you may discover that applying for a grower’s license is the way to go.

Although most states do allow the cultivation of cannabis crops for personal use, for those who would like to make a business out of their growing experience, the proper licensing and regulation is necessary. Running a medical cannabis operation is not for everyone, but if done well, it can prove to be profitable after the initial payments of the gear, lighting setup , seeds, growing media, licenses and more are paid for.

It is important to note that just because your state recognizes medical marijuana as legal does not mean it permits commercial growing or even cultivation on a personal use level. Nevertheless, for those who are passionate about their cannabis business and want to take it to the next level, obtaining a grower’s license is the only legal way to go.

Keep reading to discover how to get a grower’s license for medical marijuana with our general guide…

Know How Much Medical Marijuana You Can Already Grow

Most states that recognize medical marijuana also approve a certain quantity of plants that can be cultivated for personal use. These are small scale grows and do not require any licensing other than a valid medical marijuana card and some knowledge about the specific laws and regulations in your state. This type of cultivation cannot be executed for profit since your product cannot be sold. There are sometimes loopholes in the laws that state, for example, that cannabis can be gifted or donated to another cardholder, but these acts sit in somewhat of a legal grey area.

Here are the medical cannabis states that allow growing for personal use, along with their limitations:

Alaska (for medical and 21+): No more than 12 plants per household, only up to 2 adults. Up to 1 ounce can be transported.

Arizona (medical only): Up to 12 plants, only if residing more than 25 miles from the nearest dispensary.

California (for medical and 21+): Up to 6 plants per residency may be cultivated for anyone 21+. For medical card holders, up to 12 immature or 6 mature plants. Up to 1 ounce may be possessed.

Colorado (for medical and 21+): Up to 6 plants per person, with only 3 or less in the flowering stage of growth, may be cultivated for anyone 21+. More than 12 plants per residence is not allowed. Those 21+ can possess up to 1 ounce, while CO medical card holders can possess up to 2 ounces.

District of Columbia (for medical and 21+): Anyone 21+ can possess up to 2 ounces. Medical cardholders are also limited to only 2 ounces or less. Anyone 21+ can cultivate legally up to 6 plants, with only 3 or less in a mature stage.

Hawaii (medical only): No more than 7 ounces in possession. Up to 7 plants total for personal cultivation (between patient and caregiver).

Maine (for medical and 21+): Anyone 21+ or a qualifying patient can possess no more than 2.5 ounces. 12 immature plants and 6 mature plants may be grown by Maine residents only.

Massachusetts (for medical and 21+): Anyone 21+ can cultivate up to 6 mature plants, which must be kept out of public view always.

Michigan (for medical and 21+): Up to 2.5 ounces of useable marijuana may be possessed, or up to 12 plants (must be kept in a secure, locked facility). Some additional restrictions apply.

Montana (medical only): Up to 1 ounce in possession. No more than 4 mature plants and 12 seedlings permitted for personal cultivation.

Nevada (for medical and 21+): If residing 25 miles or more away from a dispensary: those 21+ can grow up to 6 plants, or 12 plants per residency. Cardholders 25 miles or more away from a dispensary can grow up to 12 plants mature and/or immature.

New Mexico (medical only): Up to about 8 ounces may be possessed. Those who apply for a Personal Production License (PPL), may grow up to 12 seedlings and 4 mature plants.

North Dakota (medical only): Up to 3 ounces are permitted for possession. If the patient resides more than 40 miles from the nearest dispensary, they are allowed to grow up to 8 plants.

Oregon (for medical and 21+): Anyone 21+ can possess up to 8 ounces of marijuana, while patients can possess up to 24 ounces. Anyone 21+ can cultivate no more than 4 plants per residence, while patients can grow up to 6 mature plants.

Rhode Island (medical only): Up to 2.5 ounces of useable cannabis allowed for possession. Up to 12 mature plants allowed for personal cultivation, as long as the facility is indoors.

Vermont (for medical and 21+): Up to 2 ounces of useable cannabis for patients. No more than 7 immature and 2 mature plants may be grown per patient.

Washington (for medical and 21+): Up to 6 plants per personal use can be cultivated by patients, in addition to no more than 8 ounces of consumable cannabis in possession from the crops.

Why Should You Grow Medical Marijuana for Personal Use?

In the long run, cultivating your own cannabis for personal use can save you big bucks, and you will be able to customize the exact type of herb you would like to consume. Even if the acceptance of cannabis around the globe is increasing, this medicinal herb can still certainly cost you a pretty penny, and in some areas no dispensary close by will stock the exact strain type you might desire.

By setting up a small-scale operation that meets the legal criteria for what is permitted within your state of residence, you can achieve the weed you want and start collecting savings in the long run.

Additionally, all the effort, determination and luck that goes into achieving a grower’s license for medical marijuana might not be your cup of tea. The states that allow cultivation for personal use make it simple for patients who want to grow their own to do exactly that.

For Those Who Want a Grower’s License for Medical Marijuana

In all reality, the process of applying for a grower’s license begins with understanding whether or not the state you reside in even permits commercial cultivation licenses. Not all medical marijuana states are accepting applications either, so it is important to read up on the laws where you live and see if the timing is right for your application to await approval. The acceptance of applications on a state-by-state basis is always changing, so contact your commissioner directly for the most accurate information.

The next step is to submit an application if your state is accepting. Unfortunately, most regions have limited spots, which means you need your application to stand out. Even those who are passionate about their company and its purpose are not guaranteed a way in, so if you really want to make the grower’s license for medical marijuana happen, you’ll have to give it your all. Be sure to have all the required documents in place; every state wants something different in their applications. Most states have timelines in which the application must be submitted.

Be sure to have all your necessary licenses, employees and authorizations in place before applying as well.

Most importantly, remember that it will take a while to go from applying for your license to hopefully scoring one, and then to actually opening up the operation and beginning to produce medical cannabis on a commercial scale. If this tedious process does not sound up your alley, do not apply. Give that limited spot to another marijuana company that might want it. Consider opting for personal use cultivation, in correlation to the laws and regulations mentioned earlier in this article.

Final Thoughts on Getting a Grower’s License

The process of obtaining a grower’s license for medical marijuana is no easy task, but ultimately if you envision yourself opening a medical cannabis related operation and are willing to put in the hard work, then it is worth submitting an application.

Many individuals are not aware that, even if you do not apply for a grower’s license, some states allow the cultivation of herb for personal use, so long as there is no intent to sell or distribute the product in any manner. Decide what option is right for you, whether it be simply growing a small number of plants at your home, or turning cannabis into a full-blown business.

We hope you found this article to not only be entertaining, but also educational and informative. It is important to remember that the consumption of marijuana is the sole responsibility of the user, and discretion should always be taken.

Getting a little excited about business prospectives? Here is a general guide on how to get a grower's license for medical marijuana.